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Working Papers:

In recent years, millions of children have been displaced, and evidence informing public policy for the welfare of migrants and recipient communities will be critical in the coming years. In this paper, we leverage cross-grade within-school variation on migrant share to understand the effect of the sudden influx of Venezuelan migrant children into the Peruvian school system. Our estimates show that as Venezuelan migrants enter Peruvian schools, parents of incumbent students react by transferring their children to higher-quality schools with fewer migrants. A ten-percentage-point increase in migrant exposure increases the probability of switching by 1.5 percentage points in primary and 1.1 percentage points in secondary schools. To understand the implications of this native flight on academic achievement, we employ a structural model that identifies students who switch schools because of migrants and compare their outcomes in the presence of migrants to a counterfactual scenario without migrants. Our findings reveal that switchers experience gains, albeit at a higher tuition cost, while students left behind are not negatively impacted. This suggests that native flight serves as an adaptive strategy to mitigate the effects of the migrant influx.

  • "Do larger school grants improve educational attainment? Evidence from urban Mexico" (with Araujo, M. C., Martinez, M. A., Perez, M., Martinez, S., & Sanchez, M). Journal of Development Effectiveness, 13:4, 405-423, October 2021. [Link] [Online Appendix]

We study the effects of larger cash grants on the educational attainment of low-income middle and high school students in Mexico. Starting in 2009, school grants from the Oportunidades conditional cash transfer program increased by 27 percent for females and 30 percent for males in 263 of 551 urban localities. Using a difference-in-difference analysis of longitudinal program registries linked to national standardized tests, we find that students with larger grants experienced lower dropout rates in middle school and were more likely to graduate from high school on time. Specifically, the likelihood of graduation increased by 38.7 percent for females and 41.3 percent for males, suggesting an elastic response to the larger grants.

  • Book: “Situación de las niñas y niños colombianos menores de cinco años; entre 2010 y 2013” [0 to 5-year-old children's situation in Colombia, 2010 - 2013] (with Bernal, R. and Quintero, C.). Ediciones Uniandes, 2015. [Link]

This study uses data from the Colombian Longitudinal Survey of the Universidad de Los Andes (ELCA) to present a diagnosis of boys and girls under five years of age in Colombia and its evolution between 2010 and 2013. In addition, it analyzes the factors and conditions that children face that are critical for their proper growth and development. In particular, it includes health, nutrition, socio-emotional development, and verbal development indicators. It also includes children's homes characteristics, such as parental practices, eating habits, sanitation conditions, access to essential services, and availability of early childhood care programs. The book presents an interesting look at the differences in the development and conditions faced by boys and girls in Colombia in different regions and given the socioeconomic characteristics of the households in which they are born. In this way, it provides valuable input to understand and analyze the relevance of public policies that seek to improve the situation of children between 0 and 5.

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